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Full text of "Dan Dare's Eagle Magazine: First 10 Issues published in 1950"

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Ptor AGAMsr rwe woxu> 

by Chad Varah 

The story mo far 

Chapter 4 
The secret of the cellar 

FOR a moment Dick and Ray lay 
siunned. Then, as Ihe two policemen 
rushed forward, ihcy staggered to 
their feet, and Dick grabbed the fire- 
extinguisher front the undamaged Jaguar. 

Ray snatched it from him, yelling. "Go gel 
the lire brigade!" and ran as fast as he could 
across ihe rubbish-littered ground cowards 
the blazing wreck 

'Two of ours, if they had Ken in Ihe car, 
and three or four of mens.*' groaned Ray. as 
he leapt over a pile of rubble and reached Ihe 
road. 'How long will it be before wc put a 
stop lo il all?"' 

One of ihe policemen had managed to gel 
the extinguisher from ihe wrecked car. burn- 
ing his hands in the process, and he and Ray 
tackled (he blaze from opposite sides whilst 
the oiher policeman iricd to pull the bodies 
clear. Ray kepi his eyes on ihe job: he would 
look for Jim and Ken when Ihe fire was oul. 

"Your pal gone for the fire-engine?" 
shouied ihe cop who was holding the hoi 
extinguisher firmly in his blistered hands. 

""Yes. We may gel this under, but we can'l 
save Ihe houses." 

"They don't matter they're due for demo- 
lition anyway," called the policeman. 

Ray didn't answer. The gangsters had gone 
to such lengths to keep people away from 
their hide-out thai he felt certain there was 
something important there. He didn't want 
whatever il was to be destroyed by (he fire. 
It suddenly occurred lo him thai perhaps the 
house wilh the cellar wasn't empty after all: 
his friend Ihe aiomic scientist might have 
been moved from the cellar to the house itself. 

Leaving the two poucemen lo Iheir grisly 
(ask amongst the charred and smoking 
wreckage or the car, he sprang at the door 
of the house, wrenched at the knob, and 
plunged through into the smoke-filled passage 

Strangely enough, the tire in this house had 
started in the upper storey, but il was rapidly 
spreading downwards. Ray shouied. "'Ted, 

Ted!" bul there was no response, and he 
lapsed 11110 a fit of coughing. 

He dropped lo his knees and pressed his 
cheek against the floor, gratefully breathing 
Ihe clean current of air he knew he would find 
there- Then he began to climb the slairs on 
hands and knees, keeping his head low and 
banging il on each step. 

As he reached the lop. showers of piaster 
fell on him from the ceiling. 

He wenl 10 each room m (urn, beginning 
ai the badi of the house, but found no one. 
A blazing beam came crashing down from the 
roof, accompanied by a hail of broken tiles 
and more plaster. The beam just missed him. 
and he managed lo push il aside wilh his fool 
and edge past il. He reached the from room 

and then a whole tangled mass of burning 
limber fell inlo ihe well of the slairs and 
blocked his rctreal. 

Hi. could hear regular heavy Ihuds from 
below, and knew that the policemen 
would search the rest of the downstairs 
rooms. He shut the door against the flames, 
and made his way to the window. The ceiling 
of the room was already beginning lo bulge. 
The explosion had loosened the boards 
with winch ihe window-opening had been 
nailed up, bul ihey had been put on from ihe 
inside, and 11 was difficult lo (ear Ihem aw;-" 


He had made an opening big enough lo gel 
his head and shoulders through when the 
ceiling came down wilh a crash. At the same 
momeni he heard the sweetest music thai had 
ever fallen upon his cars - ihe clanging of I he 
bell on ihe fire-engine. 

He leaned out of the window, gulping in 
deep breaths of Ihe clean air of early dawn, 
and kicking backwards like a mule to try to 
keep the burning debris from him. The fire- 
engine screeched to a slop below ihe window. 
and a fireman was running nimbly up a 
ladder while il was still being extended to- 
wards the window. He lell himself dragged 
oul by strong and skilful hands and a few 
seconds later he was lying on the road. 

He turned his head lowards Ihc house he 
had left. Hoses were already playing on il 
with a great hissing and spluttering. The fire- 
men would probably saw 1 he ground floor, or 
part of il. Then he looked along the street 
and sal up wilh a jerk. The manhole cover was 
lifted up, and oul of the hole popped a tousled 
head It was Jim. 

Two men ran forward and pulled the boy 
out. He rant running lo Ray, who stood up 
shakily and put his arms round him. 

"I thought you were dead. Jimmy," he said 

"Now you know what it feels like," mum- 
bled Jim. smiting back a few tears. "For (wo 
years 1 thought you were dead. Il was awful." 

He wiped his nose on ihc back of his hand, 
and his lip trembled. 

■Tm sorry, old chap," said Ray. "'t ought (a 
have told you. I didn't realise il would hit you 
so hard when I let it he thought 1 was dead " 

Jim turned away, 

"If it was bad for me, what do you think a 
was like for Aunt Em? Il broke her heart 
when you were reported dead, Ray. Il was 
that that killed her. How roulif you let her die 
without knowing? I don'i care how im- 

"1 didn't," said Ray quietly' "She knew all 
ihe time. Thai's why she wouldn't agree to a 
Memorial Service for me. And il wasn't a 
broken hcari my mother died of. 1 1 was 
cancer, Thai's another devilish thing our 
chaps are going to beat perhaps before 
we've beaten war." 

Jim goggled at him. 

"You mean Aunt Em knew? She hid it 
jolly well. Mind you. everybody said she was 
wonderfully calm, but we never suspected 
thai you . . . Did she tell my Mum?" 

"Not until she was dying herself." 

Jim si ill looked troubled 

"I saw her whenever I was in England." 
interrupted Ray, 'and I was wilh her an hour 
before she died." 

"What was she wearing''" 

'■| saw her thai day. loo. Whal was sl>e 
wearing V 

"Oh!" Ray's eyes narrowed. ""So you're 
testing me, are you? I thought you said you 

Jim stuck oul his lip obstinately and kicked 
ai the ground, hanging his head. 

A man in a iweed sun and grubby mac 
came up and touched him on Ihe shoulder. 

"I want a word with you. sonny." he said, 
"Tm a police officer. I have reason (o believe 
lhal you know something about this explo- 
sion. Would you care lo lell me .aboul 

"Are you arresting me?" asked Jim fear- 

"Not at Ihe momeni. You're nol bound lo 
make any statement, bui - --" 

"I'd rather nol say anything, then." 

"In thai case. I must ask you to come along 
with me lo the Police Station." 

"All right," whispered Jim. 

May I sav a word, officer?" asked Ray 

"I'm sure you haven't done anything 
wrong. Jim, and if you know anything about 
the explosion I think you should tell ihc 

"You do, do you!" Jim slill wouldn't look 

"'You remember whai your Aunt Em said 
lo you the day she died''" 

Jim jerked his head up. and his eyes 
searched his cousin's face 

"Yes," he said. "/ remember." 

"She said, 'Be a good lad, Jim, and do your 
duty however hard it may be; Ihen you'll have 
nothing lo fear". She was wearing Ihe bed- 
jacket your mother lent her." 

The trouble faded from Jim's face, and he 
returned Ray's smile. Then he lurned lo the 
plain clothes man. 

"I'll lell you. sir," he said. "I was sleeping 
at Ken's house, and he was downstairs on the 
sellee or so I thought. I woke up in the night 
and went down lo find Ken. bul he wasn't 
ihere, and there was a suilcase where he 

should have been. Ii was ticking, and there 
was a loop of wire hanging out of it, and I 
thought it was a time-bomb-" 

"Had you any reason to think anyone 
would wan! to blow thai house up?" 

Jim was conscious without looking at him 
that Ray was hanging on his reply. 

"'1 never imagined anyone could be so 
wicked as lo kill innocent people like that," 
he said truthfully. "'Anyway, 1 thought it was 
a bomb, and it seems 1 was right. I picked it 
up and ran out of the house, meaning to 
dump it over there"' (he pointed to the middle 
of the bomb-site) "'where it would do no 
harm. But I ran into a policeman — " 

"We know about that," put in the officer. 
"'Why didn't you let him deal with it?" 

"1 told him what it was!" 

"But you didn't mean him (o believe you, 
did you?" 

"No, sir," admitted Jim. "Well, it wasn't a 
very nice thing to wish on anyone, was it?" 

"It was his duty to 'bold the baby', not 

"Weil, I thought it was mine, as I'd found 
it. so I ran away." 

Ray and the policeman exchanged glances. 

"1 don't know whether you deserve a 

medal or a good hiding, young feller- me- lad," 

said the officer. "But where did you get to 

after he chased you?" 

"I tripped up and knocked myself out.'" 
answered Jim, rubbing his head ruefully. "I 
don't know how long I lay there, but when I 
came round the thing was ticking in my ear. 1 
wasn't half scared, I can tell you," 
"'So would I have been!" said Ray. 
"So I grabbed it again, and ran on. and was 
just going to cross the road there" (he pointed 
at the place) "when a grey car nearly knocked 
mc down. Again I was going to cross, when 
another car came the opposite way and tried 
to tain the first. It stopped where it is now - 
or what's left of it - and a man with a gun 
jumped out.'' 

"How many men were in the car?" snapped 
the detective. 

Three, I think. I'm not sure." 
"No one you knew?" asked Ray. He spoke 
casually, but slowly and distinctly. 

Jim shook his head, and Ray let out his 

"The man saw me and I thought he was 
going to shoot. I dropped the suitcase and 
lifted (hat manbote cover and got down the 
hole. I'd just put the cover back when there 
was a terrific explosion, and the whole place 
shook. I fell right down into the cellar, and as 
1 heard a sound like - like flames, and smelt 
burning, I stayed where I was. There was a 
door at the top of the cellar steps, but it was 
still locked." 

"Still?" queried the policeman. 
"The explosion hadn't bust it open,'" ex- 
plained Jim hurriedly. "Then when every- 
thing seemed safe - I'd beard the fire-engine 
I came out. and here ) am." 

"'So 1 see," commented the detective drily. 
"Well, you've had a lucky escape, young man. 
I shall want to ask you a lot more questions 
yet, but you ought to be in bed after the night 
you've had. If I let Rawlings take you home, 
will you promise me not to try to avoid mc?" 

"Yes, sir- 
Neither Ray nor Jim had noticed Dick, 
leaning patiently against the Jaguar, and 
brooding mournfully over the wreck of the 
Moms. As the detective called Dick over, 
Jim murmured lo Ray: "Ine-way invbay". 

The detective turned. 

"What did you say?" he asked. 

"I want to stay." said Jim. 

"'Nay, lad, ye're cumin' wi' me," stated 
Dick, "Ye don't want yer Ma worried, now 

As Jim climbed into the Jaguar. Ray called 

t be needing n 

for a bit, will 

"You wi 
you, Dick? 

Dick took the hint. 

"No. Get yerself summat t eat, then ye can 
come round an' finish yon decarbontsin" job." 

The Jaguar drove off. 

"I'll see you and Rawtings together, later," 
said the plain clothes man. "Meanwhile, 
thanks for picking up our chaps." 

""How's the one that was injured?" asked 

"He'll be all right. All in a night's work. 
Spunky kid, that youngster. You know him, 

"Yes, isn't it?" 

The policeman wandered off lo give some 
instructions about the corpses. Other police- 
men were turning away rubber-necks who 
had been attracted lo the scene even at that 
early hour of the morning, firemen were 
clambering over the ruins of the houses, 
previously damaged by German bombs, 
chopping out smouldering timber with 
their hatchets and searching amongst the 

Rav strolled nonchalantly towards the man- 
hole. The cover was still off. Waiting his 
'opportunity, he slid unobserved down the 
chute, and scrambled as quietly as he could 
down the heap of coal and into the further 

"Ine-way ins-bay," Jim had said. Well, here 
were the wine-bins. What had the boy dis- 
covered whilst be waited here alter the 
explosion? He'd got plenty of grit, to go 
prowling around with the house burning 
above him, anyway! 

The bins were actually stone shelve* or 
compartments built against the wall. There 
were an upper and a lower row. eight in all, 
each about a cubic yard in size. As Ray 
flicked on his lighter he could sec the one in 
which his friend Ted, the atomic scientist. 

had been stuffed, lor the dust in it and near it 
had been scuffled. 

He knelt down and peered inlo the bin. 
There seemed to be some smudges on the 
left-hand side. He squatted in the bin and 
scrutinised them closely. The marks were very 
indistinct - if Ted had been tied up lie may 
have had lo make them with his nose (and 
Ray's own nose twitched in sympathy as he 
saw the roughness of the surface). 

Ted had Icl'i. a message! 

Ray held (he little flame of his lighter as 
close as he could, and with difficulty made out 
the badly-formed letters. The message said". 

What on earth could it mean? "LORG" 
must be a mistake for "LORD", but if "I" 
was short for "ONE", it didn't make sense. 
Ted would never suggest that Ihe Lord was 
on the side of that gang of crooks they were 
working against! Unless he meant some 
person who had the title "Lord"? And who- 
ever was "NO MA EI"? Sounded Chinese. 

Must be some sort ofa code, decided Ray, 
He was in no state lo cope with such puzzles. 
so he memorised the message carefully and 
prepared to leave Ihe cellar. 

Then something occurred to him. That mes- 
sage couldn't have been the thing the gang- 
sters were so anxious to hide! [f they'd found 
ii they would have rubbed it off"! There must 
be -something else. 

The gangsters had been prepared to kill 
everyone who might possibly know that they 
were using this cellar. They had shot at Jim 
and tried to kill him with a knife. They had 
tried to blow him up, and anyone he might 
have spoken to. with a time-bomb. They had 
chloroformed Pru and put her where she 

would undoubtedly have been run over and 
killed but for Dick's acuteness- Heaven knew 
what they had done to Ken. As for himself, 
they had tried at the risk of their own lives 
to ram the Jaguar in which he and Dick were 
chasing them, and they'd done everything in 
their power to throw off pursuit before return- 
ing to this cellar- 
All because of a message they could have 
rubbed off in two ticks? Not likely! 

He would have to go and ask Jim what it 
was that he had found He hoped he could 
get to Jim's house without being stopped. 

He sat for a moment on the nearest shelf. 

It gave a little. 

His heart bounding, he leapt off, and 
pressed on it hard with his hands. Again it 
moved, and an Ihe front of the heavy flag 
went down, the back went up by an equal 
amount. It was pivoted in the middle! 

Quickly he tried the other shelves. None of 
them budged an inch. 

He returned to the one that moved. It took 
him some time to realise what was the point 
of it. Then, squatting on his haunches and 
pulling at the slab whilst feeling the back wall 
of the bin with his other hand, he found the 

The flagstone which formed Ihe back of the 
bin was also pivoted, but wouldn't move 
unless the other was lirsl swung clear of the 
top of it. After a struggle he managed to pull 
Ihe vertical flag inlo a horizontal position. 
Lying flat on his stomach he illuminated the 
opening with his tighter. 

At the back of the cavity was a strong 
wooden box, so wide that it was obvious il 
would only just go through ihe opening. He 
tried to gel his fingers underneath it, but it 
was as heavy as lead. 

Lead? He knew imr important use of lead! 
He felt as certain as if he'd seen inside it that 
this was a box lined with lead and containing 
some radioactive or fissionable material! By 
jove, they'd be coming back for this all right! 
Not the ones who'd been in ihe car, he 
thought grimly, but others of the gang. Well, 
they wouldn't find it here. 

He crawled forward and thrust his arm 
inlo the cavity, trying to gel a grip on the 
back of the box. He heaved and lugged in 
the effort to move it, but in vain. In ihe course 
of his struggle he arched his back : and before 
he knew what was happening the stone 
swung into place again and trapped his arm. 
The pain was agonising, and he let out an 
involuntary yell. Then, realising thai he was 
jammed in such a position that he eouldn'i 
release himself, he yelled on purpose. 

The only answer he got was the muffled 
clanging of a bell as the hre-enginc drove 
away. Not so long ago that same sound had 
seemed to him like sweet music. Now it was 
more like a knell. He was trapped! 

(To be ami inur d next week) 


■ ■ . 



WilT 4 





*FSjfi\JiL^']fi\''T^x _ 


iJb ImI 



A number of wealthy and patriotic English- 
men founded the Royal Society in the year 
1780. The purpose of the Society was to 
explore the unknown interior of Africa. 

(n 1792, the Society heard strange stones 
of a greal nvcr thai flowed through the hear! 
<if West Africa. They named Ihis legendary 
river the Niger and decided to find 
(inn-iit-il ui jmiwi if it actually existed. 

The volunteer chosen by the Society was 
24-year-old Mungo Park, a tall and hand- 
some Scottish doctor. 

Park began his quest on Z December. 1 795. 
Alone he walked inland from the West Coast. 
His outward journey took seven months 
and he tramped 750 miles across deserts, 
swamps and fever-choked rivers. He was 
robbed of everything except the ragged 
clothes he wore, was taken prisoner by Arab 
slave-traders, escaped, and nearly died of 

hunger and (husl. But he found the river in 
July. 1796. trudged along its banks for 
another 300 miles, ihen turned round and 
struggled back lo the coast. 

Ten years later. Park again landed in West 
Africa. Now his mission was to reach the 
Niger, sail down it (a voyage of 1.500 miles) 
and discover where the great river entered the 
sea. This time Park had an escort of three 
Englishmen and thirty-five British soldiers. 

Park and four others reached the Niger in 

August. The rest of the men had died oi'fcvei 
on the way. They procured a 40-foot canoe, 
named it H.MS. Jolliha, and gallantly sailed 
off down the river. Before embarking they 
sent back a letter lo the coast. 

Thai was the last ever heard of Mungo 
Park. He and his companions vanished. It is 
known that they covered 500 miles, and were 
then probably attacked and killed. 

Bui only the mighty Niger River knows the 
fate of Mungo Park, the Scottish explorer. 




I. Retractable aerial 2. Captain. 3. I-'irsi olHccr. 4. Radio operator. S. Flight tpgbMcr, 
6. Navij-ator. 7. Crew door. S. Mail. 9, Kitchen. 10. Nose landing wheels (retracted). 

II. Forward hnjg>Hj>c hold. 12. "Redux" adhesive used In cement metal in met ill «u 
fuselage. 13. forward passenger tc imparl men I. 14. Double skin tor temperature anil 
sound Insulation lor hij-h living. 15. All nassengrr compartment. 10. Ladies' dressing.' 

and toilet. 17. Gentlemen's dressing room and toilet. IN. Wardrobe room. 

19. Passenger's entrance door. 2(1. Mi baggage h " l<l - l>1 ' Haviland "GHOST" Gin 

Turbine Kngiuc. 21. Air ink-Is. 22. Centrifugal air compressor. 23. Combustion 

24. Turbine wheel driving air compressor. 25. .Jet pipe. 26. .let orifice, 

5,(MKI Ik static Ihrust. 


ki p py 








an Enormous amountof jrmall fish 
cabeled in bv the parents , neatly 
arranged heads to tails. after a , 
robtnight or so the parents lose a 

BURROW until ITCAN tj6T our AND^fl 






5 May 1950 

The Editor's Office 


43 Shoe Lame, London, EC4 

WE have now got tire names of the 
hundred members whose appli- 
cations for membership of the 
EAGLE i i i h were opened first 
on April 19th. Twenty-five of them - those 
living in Ihc Midlands are being taken, you 
remember, to Silvcrstone Grand Prix Races 
on May 13th. We have got 
seats for Ihem near the phs 
and they are going lo be 
introduced to the Italian 
team of" drivers who are 
competing there Here are 
the names of the lucky 
Rita Beyer, Ferry Rd., New Maision. Oxford 
Ronnie Betlcridgc, .Hurlon-on-Trenl 
John Pitts. Radford. Coventry. 
John Lancaster, Clinton Lane, Kenilworth, 
John Michael Nugent. Byron Square, 

Henry Howard Boycott, Liverpool Road, 

David Kemp, Bcfn Coed, Mcrthyr Tydfil. 
Jack Carter, Old Whitiinglon, Chesterfield. 
Robert Johnstone. Reed, Royston. 
John Grimmer, St. Georges Rd. (it Yarmouth 
John Newton. Catherine Street, Leicester 
Norman Webster, Wdhcck Avenue, Buxton. 
Gwyn Humphreys, St. Barnabas Road, 

Richard Stevens, Mil! Street, Cannock. 

Trevor Ciurow. Wood Street. Newark. 
Kenneth Pitt, Wissage Road, Lkfandd. 
T nomas Michael Bricrfcy, BuhvcU, N'tmgj 
" «lt GO, S 

Pauline Wooton, I 

Robert Rise. Aston Caatlow, I 

Roy Brocklchurst. Grange Park Road. 

Chapel en 4c Frith. 

Victor Alan Tugby, North Street, Whitwkk. 
David Da vies. Oak Drive. EUcametc, 

Arme Osborne, Mansori Hotel, T hurmasion 
Tire other three parties of twenty-live who 
are going to Farnborough Air Display, the 
Teat Match and the Highland Game* will be 
announced nearer the time. We should like to 
make it quite clear that Ihe numbers on the 
membership cards have nothing to do with the 
order in which the applications were received. 
Your membership number may be, for ex- 
ample, 36 - but that doesn't mean that yours 
was the 36th application opened. 

PRnH&soK brjttain asks us to thank those 
readers who have written lo him about his 
description of Radar in the first issue. They 
quite rightly point out that sound waves do 
not travel at the same speed as light waves. 


apologises for bts 


ing statement. He knows, of course, that light 

is much faster than sound 

but he was talking about 

rrons/nitifd sound waves, 

ue„ radio waves (he had 

just been demonstrating 

with a wireless set). Radio 

sound waves travel a 

same speed as light. 

We have also had a great many 

from readers who are interested in "Making 

Your Own Model Racing Car". They want to 

know where they can gel Ihe parts that have 
to he bought and how much they cost. We 
shall be glad lo send this information lo any- 
one who writes and asks for it but please 
enclose a stamped addressed envelope. 

There is one thing we especially ask all 
readers lo do. There is a national shortage of 
copies of EAt.u.. The demand has been so 
great that il is impossible for the time being 
to supply enough copies lo satisfy everyone. 
We are doing our best lo produce more copies 
but, meanwhile, will you please pass on your 
copy when you have read il 
who has not been able to get a copy. 


this week the boy chosen as the Eagle 
Club's first mug of thl MONTH. We think 
you will agree he deserves Ihc honour - but il 
was very difficult to decide between the names 
recommended tons. 

We have ejected several members to be 
mugs and awarded them the special mugs 
badge lo attach lo then- Eagle Badge, One is 
a boy who gave up the chance of an easy well- 
paid job to goto work in a hospital in Central 
Africa - because he heard thai help was 

dashed into the road to mill a small boy from 
n approaching 'bus and got her 
leg broken in doing it. Another is a boy who 
has been III for nearly a year, but instead of 
getting fed-up and doing nothing, is carrying 
on with his studies as best he can. 

Ofallof them, the spiv type of person could 
sneer and say : "You are a mug!" So you sec 
the idea of being a mug? 

There are several other mugs that we 
haven't room to tell you about now, bu> of 
them all, we decided 
that John Cbown mos fc \ f / , 
deserved to be M 

THIS MONTH. All the ^ J 

privileges which will be 

to linre. The twelve 

mugs or the month at the end of Ihe year 

will be taken on a very exciting trip, about 

which we are keeping quiet for the time being. 

Yours sincerely, 




Aiiheagcof 16. as he went home 
from looking at the Christmas Tree 
in Trafalgar Square, at 9 o'clock on a 
dark windy night, a woman rushed 
out of a house in Paddington waving 
her slippers in her hand and shouting 
"Stop Thief!" Immediately ahead of 
him, in Craven Hill Gardens John 
Chown saw the figures of two men 
making off. He gave chase, caught up 
with the slower of the two men and 
tackled him. In a flash the man 
turned on him - with a knife. John 
Chown was slabbed in the chest and 
back. Both men made their escape, 
but John Chown was later able to 
give the police (heir description, and they were caught and tried at the Old 
Bailey. One got 8 years penal servitude, and the other 2 vears imprisonment 
John Chown was awarded the British Empire Medal. As a result of bis 
injuries he was in hospital for several days. He is still at school, a Boy Scout 
and Troup Leader; his ambition is to go into chemical research. The Scouts 
awarded him the Silver Cross. He is studying for the Higher Certificate, 
- ' " s expecting to do his National Service. 

a tier •which lie L< 


1. A CARD TRICK Here's a card trick thai anyone can do without any 
"sleight of hand". You arrange ibe 13 cards of one suit in a certain order, and hold 
them in your hand, face downwards. Then you begin to spell out ihe names of the 
cards (Ace, Two, Three, etc) in the following way: You put the top card at Ihe 
bottom, saying "A"; then the next card, saying "C"; then Ihc next, saying "E"; 
and throw the next card face upwards on the table, saying "spells ACE"; and lo, 
it « the Ace! Then you go on m the same way, with T, W, O, spells TWO, and Ihe 2 
is discarded. Then you proceed with THREE, and so on, until you are left with Ihe 
KING. It looks most impressive! The only thing is. I haven't told you in what order 
lo arrange the cards in the first place! Suppose you work il out? (You will get a 
slightly different result according to whether you speak of a KNAVE or a JACK.) 

2. QU IZ(I) How miicb of an icelieig is alxive water? (2) What pLinci is nearest die 
sun? (3) Is it true thai there are no poisonous snakes in Britain? (4| How can you leil 
which is the right bank of a river? (5) What fruit has its seeds outside? (61 Which 
would fill a lank more quickly: raw one -inch pipes, or o 


Can you solve them? Adt 
group of letters to one of 

A arize of a 10/6 Natiaaal Sat- 


on Mat lOlh. Semi your , 
tofjjsixi. New Street Samare, 
Umdoa, E.C.4, <md mark the 

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In Competition in i.m,i 1 No. I. 

The winner of the Pictvia crossword, who sent in the first 
correct solution opened on April 26th is /. Jarvis, S3 Cobden 
Avenue. Peterborough, A prize of 10/6 is being senl 10 him. 
The correct answer was:— Evesham, Animals, Ragwort. 
Swallow. Lapwing, Dogfish, Harwich. 

In Ibe siorv competition for which we asked you 10 send in 
ideas for a Strip-Cartoon Story, we have had so many entries 
that it is quite impossible lo announce the name of the winner 
Ihis week. We shall try to do so next week. Meanwhile thank 
you all for your suggestions. 

Lash Lonergan's Quest 


The story so jar 

alia'* duunpuo luuslwulei 

Chapter 4 

YES Messiler'U win the buck- 
jumping tomorrow if my legs still 
crook," agreed Lash. "So the first 
thing you do with lhal gun you 
pinched from Greasy Joe is to shoot a 

"Too right." agreed Rawhide, hugging the 
rifle. "It's a beautiful bit of weaponry, isn't 
it?" The Irishman turned to Squib and said 
in a hoarse, croaking whisper loud enough for 
Lash to hear: "It's a wonder me cobber let 
me hold it inrrje, hands. ' 

Lash grinned at the boy and explained. 
"It's the hot Irish temper I'm afraid of. He 
might start acting like Greasy Joe, and then 
one day he'll put a bullet into somebody. Thai 
wouldn't be polite. And 1 don't want any 
friend of mine lo be impolite. So tomorrow, 
when he meets Greasy Joe af Oonawidgee. 
he's going lo give him back his gun." 

Rawhide's grumbles were cut short by 
their arrival ai the big waterhole. He helped 
Lash to dismount and unroll his blankets 
undcrneath-a coolabah tree. 

While Squib made a fire. Rawhide went off 
in search of a goanna. As the giant lizards 
were numerous in Ihe district, he soon shot 
one. skinned it. and dumped the carcase into 
a billycan of water that was put on lo boil. 
' "I wisht I had a gun," sighed Squib, as he 
eyed the rifle leaning against Ihe Iree. 

"You deserve one," remarked Lash, "for 
saving the situation with that emu egg. Maybe 
I'll buy you a twenty-two as a reward . . . 
when I gel some dough. But first of all you'll 
have to learn how to handle a rifle." 
"Well. I reckon -" began Squib. 
"I reckon you're hungry!" bellowed Raw- 
hide. All three burst into laughter. 

"We're going to have a feast in honour of 
young Squib," announced Lash. "There's 
crayfish in the waterhole. And there's kan- 
garoos not far away, I'll bet." 

"And," pointed out Rawhide, "there's 
galahs gallivantin' in that tree jist over there. 
Grilled galah! Oh, the taste of it! Squib, hand 
me that gun." 

The boy picked up Ihe rifle, jerked it lo his 
shoulder, and fired. A galah tumbled from a 
branch of Ihe biuegtim tree as the rest took 

Before the astonished eyes of Lash and 
Rawhide, the lad fired again - this time at a 
bird on ihe wing. The galah somersaulted in 
the air and dropped tike a stone. 

""S-s-sorry I didn't have time to gil one 
each." said Squib breathlessly. 
"The circus!" cned Rawhide. 

"Of course." agreed Lash. "For a jiffy I 
forgot you used to be i 

"My uncle taught me sharp-shootin," 
grinned Squib. As if lo provide him with 
another target for demonstration iwo brolgas 
Hew over, with out si retched necks and 
slender, trailing legs. 

The boy raised the gun and pulled the 
irigger. Click! "It's empty," he said ruefully. 

"Now you've gone and used up all our 
ammunition." said Lash. "No kanagroo-lail 
slew tonight for you. I'm afraid. But I don'l 
really mind, because I'm always nervous with 
both the hairy irishman and a loaded gun 

Rawhide chuckled and fumbled in his 
pocket. "1 took the liberty or cxtraclin" the 
rest of Greasy Joe's ammunition before 
kissin' him goodhye." He hauled out a hand- 
ful and rolled them on the ground. 

Lash laughed and said: "Now <io a get. 
And don't come back without a kangaroo' 
tail, all skinned and ready for the pot." 

Now ihe goanna had boiled long enough. 
Fat gleamed on the surface of the water. Lash 
scooped it off with a spoon and put it in a tin 

"Goanna oil," he explained to the boy. 
"It's an old abo cure for all sorts of aches and 
sprains. Bushmen swear by it, and Ihey say it 
will even penetrate glass! Well, I know it does 
wonders for injuries like mine, so we're going 
to lake turns massaging my knee tin, I can use 
it properly again." 

Bv the lime Rawhide returned with the 
kangaroo-tail and a third galah Lash was 
already feeling much betier. After chopping 
up the tail and putting it on to cook, the Irish- 
man look a turn at massage. Lash declared 
that the oil was making a miraculous cure. 
"Let the feast be prepared!" he cried gaily 
as he got to his feet and walked across to 
Monarch with hardly a limp. Selecting one 
of the many long, black hairs in his horse's 
beautiful tail, he swiftly pulled it out. 

"That's your crayfish line," he said, hand- 
ing the hair to Squib. 

"Eh?" said the puzzled boy. 
"There's sure to be crayfish in the waier- 
hnte, so use that asa line and lie on a bit of 
the goanna carcase for bait." 

"Well, I've caught blinkin' crayfish with a 
bit o~ meat and string," .said the boy, "but 
horsehair. . . ." Heeycd Ihe black hair doubt- 

"You're not going to catch sharks, me 
boy," said Rawhide. "And if you don't think 
there's much strength in the skerrick o' 
Monarch's tail, I'll prove it lo you. I'll bet you 
a hundredweight o' crayfish claws to a pint o' 
galahs feathers that I can hold you down on 
the ground with one single horsehair," 
"Belcher!" retorted Squib. 
Lash grinned at Rawhide's secret wink 
while handing him another hair from 
Monarch's tail. Obeying instructions. Squib 
lay down on his back. 

"There's only one little condition." added 
Rawhide. "You're not to catch hold of me 
hands or the hair. Do you agree?" 

-Too right, cobber," chirped the boy 

Rawhide knelt beside Squib and placed the 
middle of the hair across the boy's nose 
about halfway down. With one end of the 
hair in either hand, he lowered them to the 
ground and placed them firmly beside ihe 
boy's ears, at the same time drawing the hair 

"Now git up," he invited. 
Squib started io raise his head. ~Ow! " he 
yelled as the horsehair bit into the skin of his 
nose. The pain was so fierce thai his eyes 

"Come on, me little skite." jeered Rawhide 
good naturedly. 

Squib made another effort and yowped 
again. This time Ihe pain was so intense that 
.his eyes filled with unexpected lears. Worse 
still, the searing pain continued after he had 
given up the attempt, and he thought the hair 

"I - I give in!" he gasped. 

Rawhide whipped away Ihe hair and hauled 
the boy lo his feet. "Now git on with your 
crayfishin'," he ordered. "And don't forget 
you owe me a pint o' galah feathers." 

Rubbing the liny smear of blood from his 
; and regarding it with misty eyes. Squib 
looked so downcast thai Lash slapped him on 
the shoulder and chuckled: "Never mind, 
cobber. Every kid in the bush has that trick 
played on him sooner of lalcr. Here's a 
line with some bait on it. Haul out those 

Squib proved to be a more skilled cray- 
fisher than the other two. Carefully hauling 
in Ihe bait with the crayfish clinging lo it. he 
waited till a whisker broke the surface before 
grabbing at the elusive crcalure. He never 
missed - while both Lash and Rawhide 
let several get away. Praised by the others for 
his skill. Squib soon recovered his high 

It was a wonderful feast. In the cool of the 
evening, by the side of the waterhole where 
[lie parrots and brolgas and other birds came 
down to drink, the three hungry comrades 
ale one of the most delicious meals of their 

First came the crayfish, baked by the little, 
bright embers of a sandalwood fire. 

Then ihe galahs. grilled on stirru|)s held 
over the same fire. 

l-in.tlly. the kangaroo-tail stew, its rich 
flavour mingling with the taste of boiled yams 
and a couple of the onions Rawhide always 
carried in his tucker-hag 

It was all washed down with billy tea made 
over the open lire - the tea that all Australians 
declare is the best in the world. 

The feast over, they lounged in the purple 
dusk and yarned away the hours till the 
Southern Cross was burning high over the 
trees. It was an evening of such physical con- 
tentment, combined with the happiness of 
true comradeship, that Lash Lonergan almost 
forgot the duties and dangers thai awaited 
him on the 

Lash, Rawhide and Squib were jogging 
along the road to Onawidgee when the 
Irishman said lo the roughrider- 

"O' course, it's none o' me business . . . 
and I wouldn't wish you to think 1 was bcin' 
inquisitive . . . and o" course if you don't 


i. but . 

"Out with it!" laughed Lash. 

"Well, me cogitalin' boy, what's your plans 
for the future?" 

"Rrsl, I've got to win every contest I enter 
at the sports today. When Dago kicked me 
yesterday, it was part of his plan io drive me 
out of this district." 

"I see what you mean." replied Rawhide. 
""He wants you lo come a gulzer today so's 
ihe Champion of Champions will look ridi- 
culous at a little outback sports meeting." 

"Go to the lop of ihe class,'' grinned ihe 
roughridcr "Dago wants lo drive me away 
solhat I won't hang around trying 10 gel back 
the property that's rightly nunc. He'll try 
every dirty trick in his collection. I'm warning 
both of you that every time we get into a fight 
wilh Dago and his mob, we're running grave 
risks. They'll use gun and knife and any other 
weapon, and they'll make the excuse its self- 

"But how arc you goin' io prove Coolabah 
Creek Station belongs to you?" asked Squib. 
"The wills gone." 

"Llncle Peter's strongbox wasn't among 
that lot we found bust open," replied Lash, 
"so The Hunchback may still have it. And 
lhat means ihe will might still be in existence. 
Why did he smash open and leave behind ihe 
other strongboxes and not Uncle Peter's? I 
don't savee. But I'm going after that bush- 
ranger and I'm going to find out. Besides, 
Iherc's the reward. Even if I don'l find the 
will. I'll get the reward and have plenty of 
money lo right Dago Mevsitcr in court." 

"The law! " exclaimed Rawhide scornfully. 
"I'd like to lake the law into me own hands 
and squeeze the truth out o' that - 

"Bui the last thing I wanl lo dn is u> go 
whining to the law." tut in Lash. "I'll fight 
Dago Messuer man to man. And The Hunch- 
back, too," 

Rawhide hauled al the sling of his banjo, 
grabbed the nattered msirumenl, and 
twanged its strings as he sang: 

"Oh, WOTI Sgh) loose dingoes man to man. 
Believe me, that's no fih! 

"Oh, we'll gel those robbers!' *ay the three 
din turn cobbers. 
Rawhide. Lash, and Squib." 

He chuckled ami said: "Now isn't that a 
bonzer spur-o'-the-momeni song! I'm sorry I 
had lo put meseir first. Lash, but it was for 
ihesakcofibcpoelryof thcbeainiful last line. 
Now, males, all together!" 

So they rode singing and laughing into 

'r>Hti lillle settlement was crowded. Every 
1 single person in town was making a great 
day of the annual sports meeting. From the 
surrounding sheep and callle stations came 
owners, slocknicn, overseers, btmndary riders, 
rouseabouts. and everyone else in the disirici 
who could ride or drive to Oonawidgee. 

Many aborigines had come front the 
various blacks' camps in the neighbourhood. 
I jtsh looked intently at every dark face, hop- 
ing he mighi see his friend Mopoke. 

The only black race he recognised was thai 
of Vabbayabba, the huge and ugly aborigine 
whom Mcssilei had claimed to be one of 
ihose who found Uncle Peter's body up in the 
hills. He recalled how Yabhayabba had lied 
and said that no opal had been found in the 
dead man's hand. The aborigine remembered 
too. and when he saw Lash be scowled and 

"There's Lash Loncrgan' ' 

"Hi, lash!" 

"There's lite Champion of Champions!" 

So the comments Hew as ilic trio rode down 
the street towards the sports ground. L very- 
body knew Ihe story of lash's banishmeni by 
his uncle because Itc had refused 10 ride 
Chuckle, tlic chesinut mare. Everybody also 
knew of Lash's successful career and his 

return 10 Coolabah Creek to find Dago 
Mcssiler in possession. 

Mote eliciting Mill, they knew itiai Mcssuei 
and his mob were (bete lo compete in the 
snorts. Would there be a clash between Uuh 
Lonergan anil Dago Messiter' 1 So ihe tongues 

the 11 

n the m 

On arrival at the sports ground, the three 
comrades dismounted. 

"Uh!"grunled Lash as lie swung out of the 
saddle. They turned inquiringly. "Jusi a 
twinge," he smiled. "Must have got a bit 

Bui Rawhide and Squib, watching him 
limp across lo the stewards' ten l, saw that all 
was not well with Lash's leg. despite the 
goanna oil and their friend's assurances. 

Suddenly they heard a buzz of chatter . . 
excited talk that swelled imo a low roar of 

"The Hunchback ... The Hunchback - . . 
The Hunchback . , .** Over and over again 
Ihey heard Ihe name of lite bushranger. 
Obviously some news had startled Ihe 

Lash was in the stewards' lent, entering for 
various events, when the mounted policeman 
in charge of Oonawidgee came buisting in 
"Look at this!" he shouted to the stewards 
all leaders of the lillle community as they 
sal around ihetr (able. "Look at that for 
check! 1 just found it pinned to my verandah 

They all stared ai a scrap or paper on which 
was scrawl&l in big letters: "The Hunchback 
is a snorting cove, so expect him at your 

Sums the whole place was seething with 
excitement, and for a lime nobody 
bothered to gel on with Ihe sporls. 

"I>o you really Ihink," said Rawhide lo 
lash, "thai nabbergasiin' bushranger and 
his mob would come gallopin' along in broad 
daylight and try to bail us all up?" 

"Of course nol," snorted the roughndci 
"He's up lo some dirty trick or other. Thai is. 

,1 all." 

it Squib, "ihai 

The Hunchback's gone and sent tlial message 
jtst for a joke'. 1 " 

"fl might be a hoax." icplicd Lash. "Some 
kid like you might have stuck that now up on 
Ihe sergeant's verandah post." 

Bui Sergeant Cleaver was taking no 
chances. He phoned Sergeam Sneed, of 
Yarrawaria. and got him to hurry over as 
soon as possible. 

Yet the belief thai tlie message must be a 
joke spread through ihe crowd. Nobody 
believed iliat The Hunchback would be crazy 
enough to give wanting of a visll, especially 
with such a strong enemy force ready to cap- 

"A thousand pounds!"' Rawhide kepi on 
saying. "A thousand splendiferous pounds! 
Thai's ihe reward they're olferin' now for lhal 
bauk-robbin". blood-spill in' bushranger. To 
Ihink thai any man could be worth so much! 
Now what would I do wilh the dough . . .?" 

The irishman's run una (inns were cut short 
by the announcement thai the bending race 
was aboul lo start. Rawhide and Squib 
jostled for places on the edge of the ground in 
order to see lash compete. 

"I reckon his knee ain'l loo good," com- 
mented ihe boy. 

"I reckon your reckonin" is right." sighed 
Rawhide. "But tlial young scamperoon won't 
give in till the cows come home." 

Banx-' wcnl (he starling pistol. 

With superb skill combining balance and 
agility of both man and horse - each rider 
and mourn weaved swifily in and out of Ihe 
upright poles wilhoul louching one of them 

"Lash Lash - lash!" cried Rawhide and 

Nearby spectators, seeing that Lash and 
Monarch were in the lead, took up ihe crv 
of "Lash Lash Lash!" 

Amid the applause of the enthusiastic 
crowd, the roughndei caniered his horse to 
ihe winning post. 

Lash flashed his ga> smile as he rode from 
the field. Bui pain already dulled the brighl- 
ncss of his eyes when he reached his cobbers. 
- - "Your, knee's crook again," asserted Raw- 
hide in anxious lones. 

"Just a skernck," grinned Lash, "By the 

have you seen Da^c Mrssiier about?" 

if in response to his question, at thai 

Dago went riding by with Gieasv 

Joe anil others of ihe Coolahah Creek mob. 

(ireasy Joe. turning his double chin, 

called to Rawhide: "We've got a little surprise 

for your cobber this arvo. Haw-haw-haw!" 

"Here's your gun back! " cried Rawhide. 
snatching up ihe rifle he had captured from 
the fal man Ihe day before. He hurled i; 
straight at Cireasy Joe. 

The stockrider caught (he gun with 
difficulty, bruising his pudgy lingers. He 
yelped and cursed as he rode on. 
shoulder as lie rode on. 

Squib asked: "Whai's he gabbtn' aboul? 
Whal sorter surprise?" 

"A surprise," smiled Lash, "is only a 
surprise as long as you don'l know what it's 
going lo be So let's wail and see." 

(To be continued) 

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c 5 May 1950 


i>$L 8-*li